As part of VMware Infrastructure (VI), VMware includes VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB). This product is used to backup VMware ESX Virtual Servers. For those of you who are dealing with the challenge of backing up VMware ESX virtual machines, this article is for you. So why would you want to use VCB? What can it do for you? And what do you need to know about it? Let’s find out…
As I said, VCB is used to help you backup your VMware ESX virtual servers. Essentially, VCB is a “backup proxy server”. It is not backup software. If you use VCB, you still need backup software. It is commonly installed on its own dedicated Windows physical server (not a virtual server). VCB is included in VMware’s virtual infrastructure enterprise edition or you can buy it separately for $500.
Here are the benefits of VMware’s VCB:
Basically, here is how VCB works:
VCB is certainly a unique product however it is still in its 1.x version. Because of that, it isn’t very intuitive and has a way to go in providing all the features that could really be utilized for backing up virtual servers. There are also trade offs between running a 3rd party backup agent in the ESX host or the ESX guests when compared to using VCB. Still there are room for other third party virtualization backup products like Vizioncore’s esxRanger. Even with VCB, you still may opt to use esxRanger.
For more information on VMware’s VCB, see the homepage for this product on the Web: VCB Overview.
You can also find a couple of very nice videos on VCB and VMware Infrastructure at the following links:
The ability to manage VMware virtual machines using the built-in VMware VNC server is a little known feature that could be helpful to many of you out there. This feature is easy to turn on and can even provide access to the VM without the OS booted. Disadvantages include that the VM must be powered on, basic security, and the inconvenience of having to use a different port for each VM. Overall, this is a very cool feature that all VMware Server users should know about. Even if you choose not to enable this feature today, keep it in your toolbox because you never know when you will need it.
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